Chapter

Introduction

Peter Dwyer

in Welfare rights and responsibilities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9781861342041
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304234 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861342041.003.0001
Introduction

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This book explores some of the debates about citizenship and welfare. It analyses competing accounts of citizenship's social element, at both social-scientific and more specifically welfare-service-user levels. To this end, the book draws heavily on a qualitative analysis of ten different focus groups that were purposively sampled according to a number of different criteria (including age, ethnicity, gender, and disability). By drawing extensively on service-user accounts, it hopes to further our understanding of how ordinary citizens view citizenship and welfare in contemporary Britain. Based on the linked concepts of citizenship and welfare, the book considers three key themes: welfare provision, conditionality, and membership. Part 1 examines some ongoing social-science debates concerning welfare and citizenship, including liberalism and communitarianism, while Part 2 discusses the perceptions, insights, and opinions of the respondents who shared their views in the focus groups that formed the empirical fieldwork element which is central to this study.

Keywords: Britain; citizenship; welfare; welfare provision; conditionality; membership; liberalism; communitarianism

Chapter.  6654 words. 

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